The Apprentice (DVD)

John Martyn: The Apprentice DVD.

A haunting, totally engrossing offering from Glasgow’s Glorious Fool.

This is a long overdue DVD release that, in video form, has been fetching £50 a time. Shot at a London’s Shaw Theatre gig in 1990, it presents Martyn in superb vocal and instrumental form, providing an acoustic welcome with Easy Blues and his classic May You Never before moving on through filigree and funk, aided by a band that’s totally aware of what’s needed in terms of tonal colour. Martyn proves absolutely heart-wrenching on an emery-shot delivery of the Johnny Ace hit Never Let Me Go, while his voice almost mutates into a jazz horn sound amid the languid, early-mom deal that is Outside In. The final trio of tracks, John Wayne, Look At The Girl and One World, feature a guesting Dave Gilmour, but there’s no doubt that the evening belongs to Martyn. “Thank you very much, I hope you enjoyed it – I’m sure I did,” he concludes. It shows.

Fred Dellar
1 October 2006